This show has been commercially released as " Ladies and Gentleman, The Grateful Dead"
Truckin' Mama Tried Bertha Next Time You See Me Cumberland Blues Me And Bobby McGee Loser Hard To Handle China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider Casey Jones Six Days On The Road Watcha Gonna Do Down In The Boondocks Fair Chance To Know Henry Portland Woman Glendale Train Lodi Sailin' Sweet Lovin One Runnin' Back To You Last Lonely Eagle The Weight Louisiana Lady
Sugar Magnolia Deal Me And My Uncle Bird Song Playing In The Band Dire Wolf Searchin' Riot In Cell Block Good Vibrations I Get Around Help Me Rhonda Okie From Muskogee Johnny B. Goode Sing Me Back Home Uncle John's Band Turn On Your Lovelight
d1t09 0:36-1:08 - reel splice patched from same source as GD sets (Sailin')
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*- The Story of the Tapes *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
"Who's the Dead freak?" With that innocuous question the story of these tapes
begins. It was the summer of 1973, between attending 6/10/73 at R.F.K.
Stadium and the Watkins Glen soundcheck. A friend of mine was listening to
Live/Dead at his parent's house. A local cabinetmaker was working at the
house and asked the question. He mentioned that he had a bunch of Dead tapes
from the Fillmore East back at his house. For about a year, three 90 minute
composites of the 4/71 shows had made their way around taping circles in the
Princeton, N.J. area, but not the complete shows.
Within hours, Peter Kafer and I were at the cabinet shop with our reel to
reel decks. What we found when we got there were 11 master reels of the 4/71
shows, along with a host of other 1st and 2nd generation tapes from the
Fillmore East of other bands, but also including 9/20/70. Also there were the
1st generation reels from 11/23/70 at the Anderson Theater.
The 4/26-29/71 master reels were recorded by an individual named Buddy
Miller, a local N. J. area musician. Buddy has become a very well respected,
and recorded, Nashville guitarist. He is currently touring with Emmy Lou
Harris, and can be heard on her current CD, Red Dirt Girl. Buddy was a friend
of the cabinetmaker and, since he travelled a great deal, the tapes resided
at the cabinet shop. Buddy was set up to record these shows by a friend who
was a member of the Fillmore East soundcrew.
These shows were NOT recorded in the same manner as the February '70,the
May 15, '70 show, and the material from the September 18, 19, and 20,
'70 shows. For the April '71 shows, a feed was run off the soundboard,
which was upstairs in a balcony box, stageleft. There is a good picture
of the soundbooth in Amalie Rothchild's book, Live at the Fillmore
East. The feed went from the soundboard into a broomcloset nearby,
literally a broomcloset. Buddy remembers a bucket and mop! The feed was
mixed down on two little Shure line mixers and recorded on a middle of the
line Sony deck onto BASF 90 minute reels at 7 1/2 ips. There was also a
little consumer Dolby B unit used, which is why these recordings seem so
We taped everything that summer of 1973 onto BASF reels. The following fall,
Peter took his reels with him to California to begin his freshman year at
U.C., Berkeley. From here he met various West coast tapers such as Bob Menke
and Rob Bertrando, and the tapes began their circulation on the West coast. I
took mine to Trinity College in Connecticut and began to circulate them out
Two years later, we wanted to retape the original masters, since we now had
somewhat better decks and Maxell reel to reel tape had come on the market. We
recopied everything. At this time, Buddy Miller simply gave us many of the
Fillmore and Anderson Theater reels for essentially the cost of blank tape.
His own musical interests had moved on. Of the 4/71 masters, we were given 6
of the 11 reels and Buddy retained the other 5. I've had these reels in my
possession since then.
Why has it taken so long for these reels to enter the digital world?
Basically because I dropped out of the whole tape collecting scene about 1980
due to family, career, etc.
However, two of my old taping buddies, Bernie Tenenbaum and Chris Zingg,
implored me to get my reels digitized before the analog reels degraded.
Fortunately they had been safely stored in cardboard boxes, away from heat
and light, in the back of a closet. I knew nothing of the digital world,
didn't have a DAT or CD machine, had no idea what a tree or a 'B and P' was,
and was absolutely amazed at how big the community of collectors had become.
When I effectively left it at the end of the '70s, it was really only a
handful of people.
This past Spring I reconnected with Buddy Miller for the first time in over
20 years. He actually was able to dig up 2 of the 5 original BASF masters
that he had hung onto, and mailed them up to me. With 8 of the original 11
now in hand, and my complete set of Maxell 1st gen. copies to fill in the
blanks for the still missing 3 masters, I digitized the shows. The missing
reels, #'s 4, 5, and 6, run from 4/27 Hard to Handle through the pre-break
portion of Bird Song on 4/28. For this I used the Maxells. Along the way, I
was directed to Jim Wise for advice and assistance in digitizing and getting
the shows out into the community.
I transferred the shows to CD incorporating the New Riders sets, instead of
treating them discreetly. I really believe that the performances should be
considered in their entirety. Back in the '70s when these shows got
circulated, the Riders sets got ignored after awhile, which was a shame. They
are a lot of fun to listen to, and a great warmup for the Dead show to follow.
The reels were played on a Revox A77 and digitized directly onto an Alesis
Masterlink ML9600, sampling at 16 bit, 44.1 k. The Alesis was a wonderful
solution for someone in my position, sitting on a bunch of reels. It removed
the intermediate step of re-recording everything onto DAT. For those who are
curious about the Masterlink, check it out at www.alesis.com.
One final bit of information that makes this whole 27 year story all the more
fascinating is that these 2 track masters were used for the recent 16 track
release, Ladies and Gentlemen....The Grateful Dead. While the 16 track
recordings had Bill Graham's introduction and his tribute/tirade speech
before In the Midnight Hour on 4/29, it was not nearly as strong and present
as it was on the 2 tracks for some reason.Through an introduction facilitated
by Jim Wise, Jeffrey Norman and David Lemieux asked if I could send out the 2
tracks to be used on the release. With 5 days to go before the production CDs
were due at the printing plant, I FedEx'ed them out and they were used for
those two Bill Graham pieces. A wonderful chapter after all these years.
There has always been a question about 4/25/71. The BASF master labelled #1
begins with Big Boss Man from 4/26. Back in 1973 we saw nothing of any taping
of 4/25's show. I have asked Buddy about it and, after 29 years, he doesn't
believe he recorded it, which would be consistent with 4/26 being #1. Just a
guess: since the record company was there to record the run, our
surrepticious broomcloset tapers just lay low the first night to make sure it
was clear to try to tape. I know there has been a high-gen fragment of 4/25
that has circulated for years that supposedly came from cassette masters that
were also made of these shows. While anything is possible, if this were true
one would have to wonder why no material from cassette has ever surfaced of
any of the other 4 nights. The mystery remains, but one day I am gonna have
to put this mystery to rest.
I hope everyone enjoys these new and improved versions of the 4/71 Fillmore
East shows. They have always been the heart of my Dead collection and many
others as well, I suspect.
Bill Gadsden, 11/23/00
About three months ago I discovered that the New Riders' sets, just the
Riders, from all five nights had been taped on a reel to reel, separately and
distinctly from Buddy Miller's taping effort. With this alternative source I
can now supply the missing first half of the NRPS set from 4/27, and the
complete sets from 4/25 and 4/26.